Saturday July 21 – Reston, VA It was a not-as-early-wake-up Saturday morning at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Reston.
It was a much easier morning….got up an hour later – but even so the weight of our having almost reached our destination was in everyone’s mind. It was fun as we pushed through the morning…a deeper sense of community that has developed in the team. It isn’t lost in our journey that our hosts, Harvest, this day totally understood our purposes and owned our common mission and were a blessing beyond measure. Their strength of serving – loading out our gear, the meals and their send-off were a huge encouragement.
Having been to the nation’s capital many times and for other reasons and purposes…this time…as we, the entire team of 25 riders, approached the city there was a deeper profound moment realizing that we conquered, by God’s grace and provision 500 miles to bring awareness to the watching world that 27 million people worldwide are held in slavery. For me, as we turned the corner from Reagan Airport…with the International Justice Mission Freedom Tour team in the foreground… seeing the Washington, Jefferson and the top of the Lincoln Memorial was simply amazing and one view I won’t forget. Even more profound for me personally, was the knowledge that my bride, Melinda and our daughter’s – Emmah and Sarah were waiting (along with Mitch Weber’s family and other families of the Team) to greet us. There was something in this that was very good and encouraging.
Our arrival was a whirlwind. I had expected to cross the Potomac on the Arlington Bridge right near the Lincoln Memorial…but the trail went almost another 2 miles coming in over Roosevelt Island and crossing the Key Bridge coming in near the Kennedy Center and then snaking its way back to Lincoln.
It was a great sight to behold. We stopped- we sang Amazing Grace and prayed. Some of us grabbed our bikes and continued up the stairs to see the statue to Lincoln. It was all very surreal.
One thing that wasn’t surreal was the blessing of a tall, cold cup of chocolate milk via Peter and the other amazing interns who sit in “intern row” at IJM…the ride was complete.